ROGERS -- With the exception of a 6 1/2-minute period in the second quarter, Rogers' boys gave Springdale Har-Ber everything it wanted and possibly more.
That time span, however, proved to be the difference Friday night as the Wildcats outscored the Mounties 21-10 to take the lead, then hung on to claim a 71-63 victory during 6A-West Conference action in Mountie Arena.
"You have to give Rogers a lot of credit," Har-Ber Coach Tommy Deffebaugh said. "They did a tremendous job preparing their guys. It was a home game for them, and they played hard. We hadn't played in a week -- not to use that as an excuse, but I give them a lot of credit.
"They had their guys prepared mentally and physically, and they executed. They made some timely baskets that we didn't expect them to make. But at the end of the day, the thing I'm proud about, even though we didn't play our best basketball, we still found a way. We got to the free-throw line, and we took care of the ball when we had to take care of it."
Har-Ber (23-2, 11-1) had a 17-11 lead cut in half by Rex Krout's three-pointer to end the first quarter, then Rogers (13-13, 3-9) started the second quarter with two free throws by Aidan Chronister and a bucket by Raden Saddler to take an 18-17 lead. The Wildcats, though, scored the next 10 points and claimed a 27-18 lead following Jaxon Conley's three-point play with 4:29 before halftime.
Har-Ber went on to take a 38-28 halftime lead and led by as many as 14 points twice in the second half, but Rogers was resilient. After DeMarion Lee's bucket gave the Wildcats a 61-47 cushion with 5:57 remaining, the Mounties answered with a 16-4 run and pulled within 67-63 on Saddler's steal and layup with 56 seconds left before Har-Ber junior Courtland Muldrew hit four free throws to close out the game.
"We dug ourselves into a hole, and it was hard to get out of that hole," Rogers assistant Aaron Curtis said. "We're not sure we have the pedigree to do so, so we can't dig those holes like that because they become insurmountable. It became a big positive thing for them.
"We fought back and showed some fight, but that's a consolation prize that coaches hate hearing. 'The kids played hard' -- that's supposed to happen. We're always going to do that, but we have to combine that with execution, some toughness and physicality and we can be somebody. Right now, we're just trying to find our way."
Muldrew finished with 32 points to lead Har-Ber, including a 17-of-19 outing from the free-throw line, while Conley added 20 and Lee 10. Chronister had 16 points to lead Rogers, while Krout scored 10 of his 15 points in the first quarter to lead Rogers.
SPRINGDALE HAR-BER 62, ROGERS 46
Makenlie Campbell scored 10 of her 18 points in the third quarter and fueled a Har-Ber comeback as the Lady Wildcats pulled away from Rogers in the second half.
Har-Ber (17-8, 8-4) trailed 29-27 at halftime but turned the tables during the first 6 minutes of the third quarter. Campbell led a 16-3 Lady Wildcats run, capping the outburst with a bucket and two free throws to give Har-Ber a 43-33 lead.
Rogers (11-14, 4-8) pulled within 47-40 on a Kiara Owens bucket to close out the third quarter, only to have Har-Ber outscore the Lady Mounties 15-6 over the final 8 minutes to pull away.
Delaney Roller added 14 points and Myah Haney 13 for Har-Ber, while Taylor Chrisman was the only Rogers player in double figures with 11.